Exactly one year following his first attempt at retirement, National Football League (NFL) legend Tom Brady proclaimed his second retirement…for real this time. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the most decorated quarterback in the NFL came onto social media, teary-eyed and grateful, to announce his decision.
“I’ll get to the point right away. I’m retiring. For good,” Brady said in a short video posted on social media. “I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. So I won’t be long-winded. I think you only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. So I really thank you guys so much, to every single one of you for supporting me — my family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever…”
Brady’s decision comes after 23 years of play and the most successful career in NFL history. Tom Brady, 45 years of age, was the oldest active member in the NFL this past season. Taken in by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL draft, Brady was picked No. 199 overall in the sixth round. Despite Brady’s inferior athleticism compared to other prospective quarterbacks (with a 40-yard dash time of 5.28 seconds) and his second-string status as a senior quarterback at the University of Michigan, Patriots quarterback coach Dick Rehbein told head coach Bill Belichick that Brady’s mental makeup and leadership skills could be what New England needed for victory.
Following an injury to the Patriots starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, Brady won the starting quarterback position halfway through his second season in 2001. He led New England to their first Super Bowl victory that year, proving to be the Patriot’s greatest investment. Brady marshaled the Patriots for twenty consecutive seasons, leading them to seventeen American Football Conference (AFC) East titles, nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl victories.
After an inability to come to new contract terms, Tom Brady left the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. To the excitement of Tampa Bay, Brady signed a two-year, $50 million deal with the Buccaneers. With the help of former Patriots pal, Rob Gronkowski, Brady led the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory that very year, marking his seventh Super Bowl win. He went on to play three seasons with the Buccaneers before announcing his retirement last week.
Despite having his worst NFL season in 2022, Brady says farewell to his football career as the most accomplished player in the sport. He tops the charts of nearly every major statistical category with 7,753 career completions, 89,214 passing yards, 649 passing touchdowns, 14 game-winning drives, and 9 fourth-quarter comebacks. If these stats are not enough, Brady has seven Super Bowl rings to prove his MVP status.
What is next for Tom Brady? Well, it looks like he will be trading in his cleats for a microphone soon, as he steps into the role of TV broadcaster. He signed a deal in 2022 with Fox Sports worth $375 million over ten years. Brady will also continue to run his several businesses: TB12 Sports, a health and wellness company; Religion of Sports, a media company; and the Brady Brand clothing line. The legend will certainly stick around the sports world, just no longer on the pitch.